Page 1

February 2012

Boa Ball Toy Bash Liberty Bowl Presidents' Gala Q&A with Wendy Shea



Contents February 201 2

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Chuck Skypeck, co-owner and head brewer of Boscos Brewing Company and Ghost River Brewing, invites RSVP to the company’s downtown brewery.

Boa Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross held a fun, yet informative, bash at The Columns at One Commerce Square.


StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 & 20 He’s gaining audiences and providing resources for the independent film scene. She’s breaking new ground for minority designers in New York and beyond. StreetSeens highlight Rich Newman and Brandice Henderson.

20 STREETSEEN Brandice Henderson

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Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22, 62, 63 & 65 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 The AutoZone Liberty Bowl brought University of Cincinnati and Vanderbilt fans to town for a black tie gala at The Peabody the night before the big game.



Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

12 BOA BALL Lance Oliver and Melissa Harris

Q&A with the executive director of CASA, Wendy Shea.

RSVP Bridal Fashion Spread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 We bring you chic looks in bridal wear from inside the studio.

24 LIBERTY BOWL PRESIDENTS’ GALA Terry and April Pounders

RSVP Room View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Drs. Chuck and Melanie Woodall discuss the design features of their French country kitchen.

Toy Bash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Guests came armed with toys in hand at the annual Christmas benefit hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.

RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64


Shhh…I’m Recording It Humor columnist Dennis Phillippi tackles people’s DVR recordings.


60 TOY BASH John and Leigh Hersey

Cover Photo Bethany Peters and Wade Stooksberry in Napa Valley, California Photo by Mike Brinson of Four Pines Photography

Volume XVII

Number V

February 2012 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR


Ruth Cassin Kelly Cox Jonathan Devin Dennis Phillippi Suzanne Thompson Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR



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Ruth Cassin


RSVP Memphis is published monthly by


Baxter Buck Roy Haithcock Don Perry Steve Roberts SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE


Chris Pugh

Haithcock Communications, Inc. First class subscriptions are available for $55.00 per year. Send name and address with a check to: Haithcock Communications, Inc. 2282 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38104 For advertising information contact Roy Haithcock Phone (901) 276-7787, ext. 101 Fax (901) 276-7785 e-mail WEB For editorial information or to request coverage of an event, please contact RSVP Magazine one month prior to the event. Call 901-276-7787, ext. 105 or fax to 901-276-7785. e-mail Follow us on & RSVP Memphis Magazine Copyright 2012 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

From the Editor


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Photo by Steve Roberts

ince the holiday of love— Valentine’s Day—occurs in February, it seems appropriate that we devote this issue to those who have vowed their commitment to one another by walking down the aisle. We feel fortunate to have so many stunning brides and grooms share the joy of their special day with all of our readers, and we’re proud to say that every one of our couples has a wedding style and story as unique as each of them. Look closely however at all of the pictures, and you’ll notice that smiles and good times abound, showing us cynics, old married couples and singles looking to meet someone that indeed love does exist and can be a blessed thing in one’s life. As Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” To go along with the featured weddings, which begin on page 44, our very first bridal fashion spread will give couples planning to wed that much more inspiration for their bridal looks. When coming up with a theme for this section, we turned to Degas’ beautiful Impressionist-style paintings of ballerinas and to a lovely invitation for the Dixon’s La Fête Forain Gala from last year for ideas, and then thought that having the photo shoot in a local dance studio would be perfect since Memphians are such big supporters of the arts. Once Katie Smythe of New Ballet Ensemble, a wonderful nonprofit dance school and professional company located in Cooper-Young, offered to open up one of NBE’s studios for the shoot, the idea became a reality, and to top it off, four of NBE’s young ballerinas so kindly agreed to pose in some of the photographs. A big thank you goes out to NBE! In addition, Emily Oliva of East Memphis Aesthetics, Candy Goin of Schonheits Salon, photographer Steve Roberts, model Rebecca Todd of Elzemeyer Talent Agency, my always-helpful co-workers—Libby Huff and Chris Pugh, and my sister are also owed a sincere thanks for giving their time and talent to the shoot and helping pull off an amazing spread, which you can see for yourself on pages 37-42. RSVP Room View will be another new feature you’ll come across on page 58, and unlike the annual wedding feature, we’ll bring the Room View to you monthly. The premise behind this piece is to highlight one fabulous room, whether it be a kitchen, living room or even a mud room, through beautiful photographs of the entire room, as well as smaller pics of interesting or unusual items within the space. Homeowners will share their take on the décor through conversational-style copy and hopefully provide insightful advice for those thinking of doing a home project. Be sure to check out the StreetSeens (pages 18 and 20) and Vox Popular (page 30) as well because the individuals featured in these stories are every bit as relevant to the February issue considering they don’t just like what they’re doing, they LOVE it!



Leah Fitzpatrick

Director of Brewing Operations, Boscos Brewing Company/Director of Brewing Operations, Ghost River Brewing/Vice President, Roma Pomodori, Inc

Hobby: Bike riding. Favorite author: Kurt Vonnegut. Your mantra: "What are you doing here?" Favorite album: "Sheik Yerbouti" by Frank Zappa. Movie you could watch over and over again: The Jerk. Childhood ambition: Loving books, I wanted to be a librarian. Ideal vacation spots: Mountains, hot springs, beaches, big cities. First concert: Jimi Hendrix at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium. One thing you can’t live without: Gallons of coffee every morning. Guilty pleasure: The malt gelato, made by YoLo, that is served at Boscos. Recent book you’ve read: I majored in geography in college, so I am always a sucker for an interesting atlas. Our Dumb World by the Onion conveys a perspective on our planet everyone should contemplate. Favorite Memphis musician: Jonathan Kirksey of Mouse Rocket and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. First job: Stocking shelves and bagging groceries at Liberty Cash Grocery at the corner of Highway 72 (that is what it was called then) and Germantown Road. Where you take out-of-town guests: Memphis' only (and Tennessee’s first) on premise brewery, Boscos. Stress outlet: The folks at the Nuber YMCA know how much stress I am experiencing at any given time by the number of times they see me working out. Biggest obstacle you’ve overcome: In the early 2000s, I served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Brewers, one of two trade organizations representing craft brewers. Over a period of several years, I helped to arrange a merger with the other organization, the Brewers Association of America. It was a difficult and challenging process that resulted in a new dynamic organization, the Brewers Association, that has played an important part in the current growth and success of craft brewing in the U.S. One thing most people don’t know about you: If this brewing thing doesn’t work out, I have a promising future as a rap musician. Your greatest achievement: Raising three children: Paige, Walter and Parker.

Photo by Steve Roberts



Chuck Skypeck


Boa Ball


Benefiting the American Red Cross


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Catherine Harris, John Bryant and Alice Higdon

Walker and Jennie Robbins



t was a fun and instructional evening for partygoers who attended the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross’s Boa Ball. Event co-chairs Alice Higdon and Catherine Harris, who held the gala event downtown at The Columns at One Commerce Square, were sure to include information relevant to the ARC’s mission, namely how to “Prevent, Prepare and Respond” to emergencies. “There were 851 residential fires last year; the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross provided $450,000 in direct financial assistance,” said John Thatcher, the Mid-South Chapter’s director of development. “We’re here tonight to teach people about our mission and to help them know how to prepare for and respond to emergen-cies—to show them how to do compression CPR, to teach them what’s in a disaster kit.” All these demos were done while guests were having a little fun donning their boas, which awaited men and women at their seats if they hadn’t brought the feathery accessory with them. In addition to the ARC’s information booths set up throughout the columned room, a trivia quiz had attendees recalling the information they’d just acquired at the booths, and a dozen or so food stations, drink booths and a silent auction of nearly close to 150 items also amused patrons. “This is just something fun, something different and interesting,” Thatcher said. The Super 5 provided music, and John Bryant of WMC-TV Action News 5 emceed the second annual event that raised more than $30,000 thanks to the 350 Memphians who attended. “We had a great time and a wonderful turnout,” said community development and public affairs manager Kim Cribb. “We enjoyed the new space at The Columns, and we’re looking forward to next year. We’ve already started planning for it.”

Jennifer and John Campbell

Leslie Haddad and Debra Towns

Story by Lesley Young Photos by Baxter Buck See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

John and Marj Livingston

Parker Pickle and Pam Ferguson

Stephanie Bennett and Mike Loggia

Valerie Smith, Katie Kalsi, Jennifer Jaudon and Ashley Ward

Reba Morrison and Anita Harris


Karen McKinley, Julie Wright and Amy Harvill

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Karen Ratcliff, Madelyn Gray and Whitney Miller

Jennifer Mazur and Leslie Ragland

Gail Minor and Darla Linerode-Henson



William and Renee Morris

Shannon McKenna, Jo Turnage and Anna Serrano

Ryan Alcock and Tracy Bradshaw

Janice and Mike Bryant

Jennifer Walker, Will Doty and Willow Moellman


Miki and Jona Stein

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Vickie Carwell and Sandra Cooper

Chris Purcell, Melissa Shiffman and Robbie Shappley RSVP


Ruth and Fred Towler

Linda Norman and Kathy Bockhold

Scott and Susan Grissom with Courtney and Tom McAllister

EVENT BOA BALL Dianne and Bob Laster

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Don Stephens, Buck Lewis and Bob Hoguet

John Hendrix and Krista Housdan



Kathleen Milford, Sylvia Nelson, Kitty Hoguet, Annette Lust and Cecilia Stahl


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L o o k fo r u s o n f a c eb o o k Alix Bailey and Audrey Jones

Eric McKimm and Natalie Brown



Rich Newman Connecting Local Filmmakers and Audiences

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aving written and directed nearly 20 short films and worked on four major studio feature films (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Alamo, Friday Night Lights and Man of the House), Rich Newman was no stranger to moviemaking when he relocated to Memphis from Austin, Texas a few years ago, but he needed a way to break into the film scene here. Back in Austin, he had networking opportunities in his industry thanks to stints as a script reader for the Austin Film Festival, a volunteer for the South By Southwest Film Festival and as an Austin Film Society member. He kept looking for the equivalent of those experiences in Memphis until deciding to take action instead of yelling it on set by creating the Memphis Film Society, a social network for filmmakers. The society began in the spring of 2008 as a Yahoo! group that met quarterly (and soon thereafter more regularly) for mixers that incorporated guest speakers like Linn Sitler of the Memphis & Shelby County Film Commission and Erik Jambor of Indie Memphis. Actors, directors, crew members and plainold film enthusiasts had shown enough interest by last year to prompt Newman to set up a formal mailing list with 2,000 people, as well as a Facebook page. Subsequently, the number of mixers, which usually take place at Celtic Crossing or Raffe’s Deli, held in 2011 increased to 10, with 12 scheduled for this year. “The reality is that filmmakers don’t want to walk around with a hat in their hands, but they can talk openly to people at mixers,” he relays. “It’s times like these where people can foster projects.” Perhaps some of the projects that get off the ground at mixers can be seen at the Memphis Film Society’s newest offering, Movie Nite, which debuted last November at Sky Grille. At these monthly gatherings, announced online at two weeks beforehand, moviegoers watch locally produced feature films in an environment that allows for socialization and Q&A panels with the respective filmmakers. For the first one, producer/director Jim Weter of At Stake: Vampire Solutions used the occasion as a test screening to gain feedback before tweaking the final cut. Newman encourages other filmmakers to do the same so they don’t jeopardize a movie’s premiere status. Newman adds, “Movie Nite has been great because people in the films come and see them for the first time, and it gives the local guy who no one pays attention to a chance to screen his movie.” The Memphis Film Society is also a resource for filmmakers, putting them in touch with mentors and offering workshops, beginning with a low-budget DSLR filmmaking workshop conducted along with Fuel Film on February 11-12 (more info on MFS webpage). There are also talks to hold a small horror/fantasy/scifi film fest in town. “Memphis is teeming with great young and old actors and great DIY filmmakers, so I hope we can be a support for that,” he muses. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts

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Brandice Henderson Fashion Forward

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randice Henderson gained the New York fashion world’s respect for minority designers through her nonprofit Harlem’s Fashion Row, but in her native Memphis, she had yet to push the boundaries for underrepresented designers of color until this January. Currently in HFR’s fifth year, Henderson decided the time was right to infuse new energy into the nonprofit she now calls a movement by branching out to other cities, beginning with the HFR Fashion Art Exhibition held at 409 South Main in Memphis. Well received by a crowd of several hundred people, the event opened locals’ eyes to a new type of catwalk, namely one filled with diverse talent. Henderson shares, “My favorite moment of the night was seeing everyone enjoy themselves. In fact, I’m now glad that I changed the event three times because it wasn’t inspiring at first. We actually started from scratch just a few days before and stayed up till 3 a.m. to get it right.” The hard work paid off, resulting in an over-thetop display of avant-garde looks that melded art with fashion. Some elements of the Memphis exhibition were even interactive. For example, Henderson enlisted the help of Sachë on South Main to come up with the idea of having three models stand atop towering podiums in muslin fabric that draped to the floor so that guests could paint the dresses as if they were canvases. Meanwhile, ushers sported bowties by Moziah Bridges, a 10-year-old AfricanAmerican designer and proprietor of Mo’s Bows, and Kris Keys, a young African-American fashion illustrator, strolled about the room with her sketchpad in hand to capture interesting moments. Upstairs, models walked the runway in ensembles from Sammy B., Bethune Bros, ImaniLia and LaQuan Smith. “I’m considering doing what I did here for my annual fashion editors meeting in New York where I discuss the annual HFR Show done during September Fashion Week, but I might take the event to places like Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago and D.C.,” says Henderson. She might be well on her way to changing the face of an industry that she says has experienced a decrease in minority designers’ marketplace presence during the last decade. After all, she started HFR as a one-time gig in Harlem, but it has since grown in scope and impact, with last year’s show highlighting collections by four designers of color at Jazz at Lincoln Center and a pre-event that honored June Ambrose, Tyson Beckford and Donna Williams. In 2011, Henderson also kicked off the HFR Conversation Series, where she interviews noted fashion industry professionals in a public setting to connect different generations in fashion, and the Designer Incubator Project, which helps up-and-coming designers with networking, branding, marketing and pricing strategies. Henderson’s ultimate goal is to support minority designers financially through design school scholarships or by giving them funding to start their lines. “This fifth year is big for us!” Henderson says. “Whatever happens this year will solidify HFR as a major player in the fashion industry.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts

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ED STANTON, JR. for Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk

“ED STANTON, JR. – A Name You Know and Trust� is a slogan that is resonating with thousands of voters throughout Shelby County. In 2011, ED STANTON, JR. was called out of retirement by the Shelby County Criminal and Civil Court Judges of General Sessions Court, to return to the office where he served as a top administrator for several years. When the judges sought a well–respected individual with impeccable credentials, a proven track record of uncompromising integrity, and someone with a keen understanding of the Clerk's Office, they called upon Ed Stanton, Jr. to serve the citizens of Shelby County. He is still serving in this appointed capacity as Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk Pro Tempore. Without question, Ed Stanton, Jr. is clearly the most qualified and experienced candidate for the office. ED STANTON, JR. is passionate about maintaining accountability and transparency to safeguard the records and multi-million dollar funds of General Sessions Court. His operational knowledge of Shelby County Government speaks for itself and is essential for a successful administration. Ed is a true servant to the citizens of our community. In his 28 years of working in county government, he transitioned his way up from an entry level position as deputy court clerk in the Criminal Court Clerk's Office to the level of chief administrator over the civil and criminal divisions of the General Sessions Court Clerk's Office. ED STANTON JR.'S dedication to serving the public can be seen through his service as the current vice-chairman of the Shelby County Federal Credit Union and in leadership positions he's held with such organizations as the Whitehaven Community Development Corporation, State of Tennessee Polygraph Examiners Board, Memphis Area Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the City of Memphis Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. He also remains active through his involvement with his church, Temple Church of God in Christ, as an ordained Elder and the Chairman of the Trustee Board. ED STANTON, JR. genuinely cares about people and has dedicated his life to serving God, family and his fellow citizens of Memphis and Shelby County. He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Ruth Johnson Stanton, for 43 years. They are the parents of three children, who are also public servants, and enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren.

VOTE ED STANTON, JR. FOR CLERK – A NAME YOU KNOW AND TRUST! Early Voting February 15 – 28 Democratic Primary March 6 Paid for by Friends of Ed Stanton, Jr. – Soheila Kail, Treasurer




Onsite I LifeQuest Benefit Concert The 18 members of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra came together in the name of service for the sixth annual LifeQuest Benefit Concert. Held in early November at Lindenwood Christian Church’s Stauffer Hall, the concert raised funds for LifeQuest, a counseling center at Lindenwood that charges clients on a sliding scale based on income; previous beneficiaries include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Salvation Army. Prior to the concert, jazz lovers gathered in the church’s foyer for hors d’oeuvres and wine. Featured vocalists included JoJo Jefferies, Marcela Pinilla, Jeremy Slater and LaDon Jones. Memphis Drum Shop owners Nancy and Jim Pettit presented the concert in conjunction with the Scott Nelson Pettit Foundation. Jean Oury, Jim Fickle, Valerie Finnell and Mike Huffman

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Greg Zeller, Nancy Pettit and Don Waylett

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Curtain Up: A Taste of Playhouse



Rebecca Coleman, Jodie Greear and Lindsay Robeck

Mary Nease, Kathy Williams and Lila Beth Burke

Playhouse on the Square’s annual fund-raiser Curtain Up: A Taste of Playhouse featured five parties in one. Utilizing its new space and many levels, the theater troupe themed different areas of the 35,000-square-foot theater to maximize the party spirit. From a CountryJazzyGrassyTonk beer tasting to a Vaudeville Speakeasy and from wine and Champagne to Indiepop Jello Shot and a Zydeco Martini Lounge, no drink was left unturned. And no theater party is complete without costumes, with troupe members dressed in drag, partygoers seen in a variety of garb provided to them in the Viva Memphis Photo Booth and Playhouse supporters who attended in their jazziest ensembles. The evening also had a wide array of musical choices, including groups such as the Magic Kids, Black Max, Grace Askew, Fille Catatonique, Tout le Mon and Nay-Nay and the Do Right Boys providing the party soundtrack. Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Freedom Award Ceremony Hollywood might have the Oscars with Brangelina, George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but Memphis has its Freedom Award Ceremony, complete with David Porter, Alonzo Mourning and D’Army Bailey, and a red carpet affair it was. More than 19 honorees, including Danny Glover, Cicely Tyson and Usher, were recognized at the National Civil Rights Museum fund-raiser. Others who made a grand entrance and walked the red carpet to the ceremony included actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles and Dr. Bill Frist. The event was held in conjunction with the museum’s 20th anniversary and took place at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Close to 2,000 people attended. Wendy Raquel Robinson and Marco Perkins

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

David and Rhonda Porter with Stormy Taylor

Snuggie Pub Crawl

Jennifer Hicks, Gwyn Fisher and Rebecca Lard

Jesse Zellner, Matt Henning and Zach Rutland

Snuggie wearers invaded Beale Street this past November not just to show off their best-decorated “blanket with sleeves,” but to also support a good cause by participating in the Beale Street Snuggie Pub Crawl. In its third year, the pub crawl was bigger than ever thanks to more venues added to a schedule that began with a check-in at Kooky Canuck, where guests paid entry fees of $15 (A portion of entry fees was donated to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.). Patrons then progressed to BB King’s, Club 152, Silky O’Sullivan’s, Rum Boogie Café and Alfred’s, which featured an awards ceremony and prizes for the “SNAZZY Snuggie” Contest and the Beale Street BINGO Run. River City Management Group presented the affair. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh



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Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

T Ron and Paige Higgins

Ron Wong and Selina Chan



his past December, NBA fans were finally getting their season started, but just before New Year’s Eve, football was the talk of the town at the 53rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala. The gala however looked more like a dance marathon than a sporting-related event. Guests for the black tie dinner and reception were welcomed to The Peabody’s Continental Ballroom for cocktails with the sound of dueling pianos played by Hudson & Saleeby. Despite being held in midwinter, unseasonably warm temperatures meant that partygoers wore everything from full-length gowns and fur wraps to little black dresses and airy shawls. Gentlemen wore a range of business suits, military uniforms and black tuxes. The dance floor was packed as guests, often with glasses of wine in hand, cut a rug to hits of the 1980s and ’90s, before being ushered to the scene of a grand dinner in the Memphis Ballroom. Tables were laden with linen in springtime pastels like soft green and pink with centerpieces of roses, daisies and chrysanthemums. Andy Childs and his band warmed up the stage and guests once again put on their dancing shoes. After the presentation of Liberty Bowl officials, including the coaches and their wives from the opposing teams—Vanderbilt University and the University of Cincinnati, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton made an official welcome on behalf of the city. Dinner consisted of green salad, beef filet and chicken breast with mashed potatoes, as well as a trio of cheesecake, chocolate torte and crème brulee. Then, it was back to the dance floor as the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award, KC & the Sunshine Band, pumped out their greatest dance hits like “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Shake Your Booty,” “Boogie Shoes,” “Keep It Comin’ Love” and “Get Down Tonight.” The Liberty Bowl president, Patti Shannon, made the presentation. Andy Childs returned to the stage to finish off the evening for a seemingly inexhaustible crowd as coffee and laces were served. University of Cincinnati fans would have a second evening to celebrate with a win the following day.

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Shayne and Jerrie Jernigan

Story by Jonathan Devin Photos by Don Perry

Brandon Ehrhart and Lauren Ross

Lauren Anderson and Jarrett King

Barbara and Jim Phillips

Patrick and Allie Byrne

Van Manning, Julia Williams and Bruce and Janie Hopkins

Fumi Franklin and Barb Jones

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Stephanie Gurley and Bryan Marino

Jonathan Watkins and Jeshenna Johnson

Brenda and Herman Morris

Billy and Pam Kimery

Stephen Routh and Liza Livingston



Kelly and Whit Babcock

Ashley and Chris Crawford

Miss AutoZone Liberty Bowl Andi Kaufman

Mike and Celeste Longo

Raymond and Becky Vega

Andrew Chambers and Leah Burress

Bobby and Janette Krauch


EVENT Travis and Terri Lawrence

Deanna Vaughn, H. Asby Fulmer III and Tommie Pardue

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Casey Shockey, Alex Cox and Terri and Jim Witkosky

Susan and George Wortham with Kimberly Hale and Kevin Danish RSVP


Jamie and Walker Bolton

Kendall Boyd and Paula Beussink

Stan Chesley, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Gyan and Christine Jha

Gary and Debbie Moore

Dean and Barbara Smith

Alison, Paul and Alyce Cooke


Drew Plunk and Chloe Baker with Kellye and Bram Cannon

Mike and Judy Gauthier

Pam and Jack Michael

Bill and April Lipsey

John and Judy Oros

Kembree and Tony Brown

Caley and Josh Spotts



Samantha Marano, Pat Kerr Tigrett and Jennifer Routh

Crissy and Joseph Espinosa

Bill and Krista Freeman

Ronnie and Judy Lee with Pat and Harry Montgomery

Meisha and James Waller

Jenny and Nick Vergos

EVENT Jennifer and Alan Bosworth

Mike Glenn and Tracy Galtelli

Allyson Dyer and Toni Boland

Traci and Jim Gallman

Jacinda Johnson and Ed Galfsky

Sandy Robertson and Kate Pera


Mark and Stephanie Hopkins

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Ronald and Delia Roth



Nathan and Christy Darby

Christina Watkins and Jason Bolden

Kim and Craig Fraser

John and K.K. Gross

Daniel DeShon, Becky Anderson, Didi Montgomery and Dick Scudder

Kristen Lorentz and Damon Young

Anna Howington and Lynette Luttrell


Vox Popular Q&A with Wendy Shea


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RSVP: What intrigued you about taking over as CASA’s executive director last September?



Shea: I’ve been a CASA volunteer for a number of years and on the board for about a year or so. Then, Keisha Walker, who had been the executive director for a number of years, took a position with the Office of Early Childhood and Youth, so the board approached me about the possibility of serving as executive director. I’ve been really involved in child advocacy for a long time, so it seemed to be a really good opportunity. I started out years ago at the Juvenile Court before I went to law school, so it’s been interesting after this many years to come full circle and be back working with kids. RSVP: When people hear the acronym CASA, what do they normally think? Shea: They think “Hispanic house” simply because that’s what the word is, so when I say “CASA,” there’s usually a bit of a blank stare. Then, I tell them that it stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and explain it. I think most people are not aware of what we do, so one of the things that is very important to me is to get the word out and let people know what we do and the need out there. CASA of Memphis and Shelby County was formed in 1986, so it has been active here for a while. RSVP: Where did the concept for CASA originate? Shea: The concept started in Washington state [in Seattle], and a Juvenile Court judge there saw the need in certain cases to have someone who could really commit the time, investigate and make recommendations to the court in more complex cases. So, the first CASA was founded out there, and Judge Kenneth Turner, who was a longtime judge at our Juvenile Court here, decided that that would

Photos by Don Perry

n the hallway leading to her office at Court Appointed Special Advocates of Memphis and Shelby County, Wendy Shea, who became executive director last fall, has to walk beneath a sign that reads “A child’s voice in court.” Those words describe exactly what CASA’s staff and its volunteers mean to abused and neglected children in the foster care system and to those at risk of entering the system. Having been both a CASA volunteer and board member, Shea has shown deep commitment to children, even serving as co-chair of the Memphis and Shelby County Foster Care Review Board and most recently getting appointed by Governor Haslam to serve as a commissioner on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, but she’s now ready to spread the word about CASA to the public. Per her conversation with RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick, Shea expressed, “Any community should be incredibly interested in what is happening to their children. I think a lot of people would be surprised at the number of abused and neglected children in our community, and they come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. What makes CASA unique is that we’re able to advocate for these kids one on one.” be something of benefit here. CASA was then located at the Juvenile Court until it relocated here [the PorterLeath campus] about two years ago. RSVP: How many volunteers does CASA have?

Shea: We had about 115 active volunteers last year, but we are always looking for more volunteers, particularly volunteers interested in working with older youth. We have a program called Fostering Futures, which works with older youth, ages 14-18, who are at risk of aging out of the foster care system. It takes a unique type of volunteer because sometimes working with these kids can be over two or three years, and it takes a different commitment. A volunteer has to be 21 or older though, and there’s a real time commitment involved, but it’s not a set time. RSVP: What other responsibilities do CASA volunteers have? Shea: Once they’re appointed by the court, the first thing they’ll do is a very thorough investigation, and depending on the type of case, they will talk to the parents, neighbors, teachers, physicians, foster parents or anyone who may know something about this child. They may do home visits or go to the school to talk to the teachers, so the amount of time they take depends on the complexity of the case. CASA volunteers are appointed by the court and act as “friends of the court,” so they’re able to access school and medical records. The investigations are very thorough, which I think is one of the key components of the CASA program and why it’s done so well. The Department of Children’s Services does an incredible job, but they have a lot of cases. Our volunteers spend that one-on-one time with clients and really do a thorough investigation. Once they’ve completed the


investigation, they prepare a report of their findings and then make recommendations to the court. These recommendations primarily deal with permanency. RSVP: What type of training is involved for volunteers?

RSVP: How long has the Fostering Futures Program been around? Shea: Not that long. Last year was the pilot for it. It’s exciting, and we’ve learned a great deal. We’re now beginning to consider changes to the program—improvements to it. Part

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Shea: We have training here, and the core training is 32 hours over a five-day period in the evenings. The training is everything from understanding child development to understanding the history of laws involving children, and a lot of time is spent on the legal process that a child goes through from the initial referral to the Department of Children’s Services through the court system and beyond. They have training in how to conduct a site visit, what to look for‌really the whole gamut. We also have a thorough background check, and in addition to the core training, we have an additional eight-hour training for volunteers who are going to participate in the Fostering Futures Program for the older youth. That training involves understanding the unique needs and challenges of older youth who are going to be aging out of the system‌learning about what resources are available for them through both the state and federal government. Our primary role as advocates is advocating for them to receive the services that they need. We have two advocacy coordinators, and their role is to work with the volunteers and help them continuously. They help them with the investigation, answer questions, make suggestions, help them with the report and go to court with the volunteers. There’s never a situation where a volunteer would go to court alone.




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of Fostering Futures has a component called “possible selves,” and it’s a tool that the volunteer uses with the young person, and it’s to help them identify their strengths and to identify support persons in their life that can be there to help them when they age out. It also helps them identify goals. What makes this unique I think is that the youth who go through this model begin to see their future selves, and then what ties it together is that there are a lot of services available for these young people, from educational support [GED and ACT] and health care to housing and life skills. Unfortunately, a lot of these kids may have been in the foster care system for a while and just want out. What “possible selves” does, and hopefully what our volunteers do, is connect the two so that you’re working with them to see what could be someone’s future self, and then you have all these services over here. By putting them together, a young person can see the value of them; they make sense. In other words, if a young person wants to get a GED or wants to learn to be a mechanic, here are all of these services being offered that someone helps you see and makes sure you get them. CASA’s role is one of advocacy; it’s not a mentoring type of relationship. It’s advocating on behalf of all children for safe, permanent homes, and for older kids, to also make sure they receive the services and resources that they’ll need. RSVP: What do national statistics for kids aging out of the foster care system indicate? Shea: Adoption Advocacy reports that of all youth aging out of foster care, national statistics indicate: 56 percent are unemployed and face poverty within two years; they represent 70 percent of all homeless youth; they constitute 88 percent of incarcerated youth and young adults; 40 percent do not graduate from high school; and 60 percent of teenage girls will have a baby within two years. When you look at those numbers, you think that someone’s got to intervene here because if all we do as a society is just say, “Okay, we have taken care of you, now you’re 18,” you’ll find that so many are ill prepared to live as adults. RSVP: How many children locally did CASA assist last year? Shea: Last year, we served 516 children, and of those children, approximately 80 were 14 and older. This year, to date, we’ve served 208 children. All of the children we work with are referred by the Juvenile Court, and that makes us truly unique. The number of children we serve is a function of how many the court refers to us. Usually what happens is the court will have a particularly complicated case, and they just feel that having a CASA volunteer involved will help the court make a more informed decision. RSVP: Are all of the children CASA serves in foster care? Shea: No, some are at risk of entering foster care. We truly feel like advocating for children who are at risk is as important, if not more important, than children who are in foster care. RSVP: What are some of your most immediate goals for 2012? Shea: We want to increase the number of volunteers and to

RSVP: Is it difficult not to take your work home with you? Shea: It is hard, although having started right out college working at the Juvenile Court, and certainly all the years at St. Jude [as vice president general counsel], I know that you have to be able to carry the work in your heart, but not home. Some people can’t do that, and often it’s walking on a thin line. I think when I see tragic circumstances, like when a child has been severely abused, it upsets me, but it absolutely makes me crazy that this could happen. That child deserves something better, and that’s CASA’s mission—to provide a safe, permanent home.

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Shea: National CASA has a series of standards, and we were in the top 2 percent of those standards, which is everything from operational things to the way you handle cases. Keisha Walker [the former CASA executive director] and her staff get all the credit for that. We were one of 16 sites chosen to pilot the Fostering Futures Program, and I think that certainly says a lot about the organization.


RSVP: I know that the Memphis and Shelby County affiliate of CASA is in the top 2 percent of CASA programs nationally, so what did this particular office do to achieve that recognition?


increase the number of children served. We want to continue to build the Fostering Futures Program. To me, what is very important is that I don’t want this to be a numbers thing. Certainly, the number of kids we serve and the number of volunteers are critical, but what’s more important is the quality and value of the service we provide. I would rather serve 100 kids and do an incredible job for every single one of them. Other goals are to raise our public awareness and continue to strengthen our relationship with the Juvenile Court and the Department of Children’s Services because we all work collectively.

Austin Dress by Watters with Sash by Casablanca Bridal and Corded Veil by Malis-Henderson, All from All About Weddings • Jewelry from Doris McLendon’s Fine Jewelry

Blu Collection Dress by Mori Lee worn with a Beaded Floral and Feather Fascinator by Bel Aire Bridal, Both from Low’s Bridal and Formal • Jewelry from Doris McLendon’s Fine Jewelry

Bridesmaid Dress by Jim Hjelm Occasions, Destinations Collection Wedding Dress by Mon Cheri and Pink Heels by Dyeables, All from Low’s Bridal and Formal Jewelry from South House Fine Jewelry • Bouquet from Posh

Dress by Lazaro from Low’s Bridal and Formal • Jewelry from Bob Richards Jewelers

Dress by Jim Hjelm from All About Weddings • Jewelry from Russell Brothers Jewelers • Bouquet from Posh

Special Thanks to the Following: Photographer Steve Roberts Makeup Artist Emily Oliva of East Memphis Aesthetics (901-682-9211) Hair Stylist Candy Goin of Schonheits Salon (901-758-5042) Model Rebecca Todd of Elzemeyer Talent Agency Location and Ballerinas of New Ballet Ensemble, whose mission is “to bring together children from all backgrounds by providing a professional standard of training, regardless of the ability to pay.”

Dress by Jasmine from All About Weddings • Jewelry from Mednikow

Photos by Crystal Goss Photography


5 • 7 • 11

Wrapped up with ribbons and bedecked with delicate, white buds at every turn, this graceful Tiffany blue-themed wedding gave Holly Golightly a run for her money in terms of crisp, clean elegance and memorable signature touches.

When Brand Cook came to visit Mallory Futrell in Phoenix in January 2009 after her emergency brain surgery, he brought a special ‘little blue box.” Inside was a Tiffany bracelet with a palm tree charm—significant because they had fallen in love at the beach the summer after their high school graduation. They had first met during Mallory’s sophomore year at Lausanne and dated on and off throughout college. Each admits to making the other one the barometer by which they measured their other dates during that time. Their wedding was held on a perfect spring day at Christ United Methodist Church. The couple left the church on their way to the reception at the Peabody Hotel in a 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud that was called appropriately enough the “Audrey Hepburn.” A special surprise for the newlyweds, arranged by the bride’s sister, Morgan Harriman, was the appearance of Chris Medina, a finalist on “American Idol” in 2011 who came to sing his single “What Are Words” for their first dance. Chris is remembered fondly for his amazing talent and for the story of his fiancée’s tragic automobile accident and subsequent brain injury. Chris, Mallory and Brand have become good friends, as Chris is encouraged and uplifted by Mallory’s miraculous recovery. Super T, the entertainment, ensured the dance floor was full the entire evening, and the party was still going strong well after midnight. Of their wedding, Mallory and Brand say, “Our wedding was so much fun—a true celebration of one of life’s greatest blessings.”



6 • 4 • 11


indsey Adams McGrew, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Augustus McGrew III, and Joshua Perkins Hammond, son of Mr. and Mrs. Romulus Morgan Hammond III, were married on June 4, 2011 at Christ United Methodist Church. Reverend Scott Lees performed the ceremony. The bride is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glen J. Coe of Vienna, West Virginia and the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Augustus McGrew Jr. of Charleston, West Virginia. The groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Romulus Morgan “Buster” Hammond Jr. of Memphis and the late Mr. and Mrs. Roy Herbert Taft of East Texas. Lindsey wore a Lazaro couture gown of ivory silk organza, which she embellished with a Swarovski crystal piece. She wore her sister’s cathedral-length train and veil, both made of antique lace. For the ceremony, she wore pink Badgley Mischka heels and custom-made cowboy boots for the reception. The reception at Chickasaw Country Club featured an equestrian theme, since Lindsey and Josh got engaged on a polo field in California. Guests enjoyed specialties like Oysters Rockefeller and truffle-flavored french fries, while being entertained by three bands and a custom-designed fireworks show. The couple honeymooned at the Viceroy in Anguilla.


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Photos by Steve Jones Photography

Cox & Harritt

5 • 21 • 11

Janet McIntyre Cox and William Lowell Harritt III were married at Second Presbyterian Church on May 21, 2011 at six o’clock in the evening. The Reverend Sanders Lane Willson and the Reverend Kenneth Glenn Leggett officiated at the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Janet McIntyre Cox and Dr. Sam Jones Cox III of Memphis. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Lowell Harritt Jr. of Sumter, South Carolina.

The bride was given in marriage by her father. The maid of honor was her sister, Ann Whitten Cox. Bridesmaids were Michele Kelly, Margaret Harritt, Kathryn Cox, Elizabeth Batchelor, Mary Grace Edwards, Beverly Garrett, Lindsay Schroeder, Elizabeth Whaley and Lizzie Willson. The groom’s father, William Lowell Harritt Jr., was his best man. Groomsmen were Sam Cox IV, brother of the bride, Stephen Kelly, Phillip Barrett, Frederick Brogdon, James DuRant, Christopher Hein, Joshua Ridings, Adam Steverson and Jeffrey Vitters. Ushers were Michael Bowen, Jacob Cook, Matthew Denton, Samuel Howard, Stewart Parks and Joseph Randall. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at The University Club of Memphis. The couple then honeymooned in the Dominican Republic and is now at home in St. Louis, Missouri.


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Photos by Allison Rodgers Photography


7 • 9 • 11


n Saturday, July 9, 2011, Nicole Dieck, daughter of Jim and Dinah Dieck of Germantown, married Mark McLeod, son of John and Kathy McLeod of Roanoke, Virginia. With “Madison” being a family name and the Madison Hotel rooftop being one of Mark and Nicole’s favorite places to go, it was the ideal location for their rehearsal dinner. Family, friends and the wedding party, which included 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, enjoyed a sunset dinner overlooking the Mississippi River. Longtime family friend, Father Terry Street of St. Phillip Episcopal Church, married them at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Memphis. The ceremony was followed by a reception in the stunning Continental Ballroom at the Peabody Hotel. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and dancing to the lively Motown sound of the 1-900 Band. The newlyweds made their exit through a sea of white rose petals into a horse-drawn carriage, and the next day, they left for a weeklong honeymoon in St. Lucia. Mark, a tax accountant at HCA, and Nicole, a financial advisor at Morgan Keegan, currently reside in Nashville.


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Photos by LMAC Studio


12 • 4 • 10

China Palko and Ryan Jenkins celebrated their nuptials on December 4, 2010 with a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, followed by a reception at the historic Peabody Hotel.

The previous evening, the two held their rehearsal dinner at the Colonial Country Club in the Grand Ballroom. The next evening, the ceremony took place before more than 250 guests with Ryan and China exchanging vows and presenting each other with rings from Mednikow Jewelers, arranged by representative Tiffany Brimhall. China wore a diamond white Maggie Sottero gown accented with diamond and pearl earrings with the bridesmaids complementing her in champagne dresses from Ballew Bridal. Ryan and his groomsmen were in formal attire wearing full dress tails. The Continental Ballroom was lavishly decorated with crystals and candlelight that set the theme for a romantic atmosphere. Guests were treated to a seated dinner, cocktails and dancing, which all was made possible by Ken Nelson, the Peabody’s event coordinator. The couple was whisked away in a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in route to their honeymoon destination at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui. They now happily reside in Germantown.


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Photos by Mike Brinson


9 • 4 • 11

Bethany Peters and Wade Stooksberry were married in Napa Valley, California on September 4, 2011. The bride’s sister, Sara Fay Egan, an event planner, coordinated the entire weekend beginning with the rehearsal dinner that took place in downtown St. Helena at Merryvale’s historic winery. Guests dined in Merryvale’s cask room, which boasts century-old 2,000-gallon casks that line the stone walls. In this room, one long dining table had been adorned with 100-year-old grapevine root, fresh grapes and vintage wine bottles set with taper candles for a romantic glow. The ceremony was held at the intimate Kenwood Community Church, which faces a landscaped park and a lush garden, creating a fairytale backdrop against the rolling countryside. The chapel’s antique stained glass windows cast beautiful natural light as the couple said their vows in front of 60 guests. The bride wore an Amsale gown of Alencon lace and a veil that was once part of her mother’s wedding dress. At the completion of the ceremony, the couple rang the church bell together. A reception followed at Charles Krug Winery, Napa Valley’s first winery. Here, the decor included Chinese lanterns strung across the lawn to frame a picturesque vista as the sun set over the mountains. Large wine barrels served as cocktail tables, and place cards were created from wine corks. The wedding weekend was aesthetically beautiful in every way, but what made it so special were the friends and family who were with the happy couple.




Interview by Jonathan Devin | Photos by Steve Roberts rs. Chuck and Melanie Woodall are Ole Miss fans even though they live less than a block from the University of Memphis campus. In fact, if not for a substantial tree break, they could see the campus library from their kitchen windows over a casual breakfast or amidst a festive gathering. For their kitchen, which was added to the house during a substantial renovation in 2008, they chose a soft, French country look with ivory-colored cabinetry, dark granite and copper appointments. Furniture fabrics and artwork in shades of rust, sage, gold and tan accentuate the natural warmth of the room and a welcoming flow via a receiving room with wet bar and a sitting area with a limestone mantel. Their team of designers included architect John Pruett, kitchen designer Karen Kassen of Kitchens Unlimited and interior designer Hardy Todd.


Burnished copper accents like the Woodalls' backsplash and grape leaves in the chandelier mirror a smoky brown and gold granite island top, all of which culminates in a warm glow to their French country kitchen.

RSVP: Were you looking to have the house be more open and airy than before?



Chuck: We’re involved in a lot of different things here in town, and we entertain a lot. Melanie’s a fabulous cook and so she’ll do huge dinner parties, and these days everyone wants to hang out in your kitchen. So [in our old kitchen], here were all these people, and you had to excuse yourself to open the oven door. RSVP: Did you want the island to be the focal point of the kitchen or did it just happen that way? Chuck: Yes. We had about 30 people over for Christmas Eve. Melanie made shrimp and grits, and I made red beans and rice. We had it all laid out. Dessert was on one side of the island, and everyone could help themselves. But, for the three of us, if our son is home, [the breakfast table end] is a cozy spot for us to eat. RSVP: It’s a smoky brown and copper granite isn’t it? Chuck: It’s called “Macarena,” a Brazilian brand of granite. Karen and Melanie selected it for the colors, and we carried that into the bar area with the same granite. We liked those colors, and Hardy picked copper for the backing [behind the stove] because you have to have something inflammable. It will gradually have its own patina.

Chuck: Karen had wanted to put a warming drawer in [under the island], so we did, which is great. Then, Melanie said, “I sure wish I had a second one,” so we called Karen back and she said, “The drawer adjacent to it has the electricity right there—I had it all designed, but I had to convince you to get the first one.” She figured we’d eventually want two, and we did. RSVP: You put your bar just around the corner. Was that to make a receiving area? Chuck: The idea is this is the primary open area. As people come in, it’s right there. It’s so natural to walk right in. Once, Melanie put all the hors d’oeuvres in the living room [right next to the front door] and everyone walked right past it into [the bar]. RSVP: But you put the dining room across the hall?

RSVP: What kind of storage needs did you have for the kitchen? Melanie: I have several sets of dishes and lots of trays and platters to pull out for parties, so every cabinet is full. I filled it up quicker than I thought I would. I could really use more. RSVP: Are there any hidden features?


The Woodalls' chrome martini shaker collection stands like an army of penguins—in fact, one of them is a penguin—waiting to greet guests in the bar/receiving area, which makes a flowing, natural entrance to the kitchen. Melanie had to give up on entertaining in the living room as guests naturally strolled right past it to the bar.

Chuck: We wanted to maintain the fireplace [in the sitting area], but there was no way we could easily get the size of the kitchen and dining room we wanted without taking out the fireplace. And, we do use it. In some ways it’s been better this way because if we’re all in the dining room having a catered dinner, then you’re not in the middle of all the mess.


Toy Bash


Benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis


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Megan and Corey Klein

Pryor Lott and Karan Lott



s much as kids enjoy playing with toys, many adults have an even better time picking out the perfect stuffed animal, plastic dump truck or game for a child, especially one in need. A case in point: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis’ annual holiday fund-raiser, called Toy Bash. Held in December at the Pink Palace Museum, the event attracted more than 430 guests, who happily donated 500plus toys of all kinds to make club members’ holiday a little brighter. Pryor Lott, director of special events for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, added, “Mattel also donated 400 toys; our goal is to make sure every club kid has one toy, and we serve 7,300 kids.” In addition to toy donations, another way supporters gave back to the organization was by participating in the “silent anonymous auction.” Items tempting bidders included a wine tasting for eight at Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, a Memphis Brooks Museum of Art package, a $50 gift certificate to Folk’s Folly and six wreaths decorated by kids of the John Dustin Buckman branch of the local Boys & Girls Clubs. When asked her favorite item up for grabs, event volunteer Tanika Coleman of Best Buy said, “I really like the sevennight stay in Antigua at the St. James’s Club & Villas,” which was offered at only $750. With offerings like these, the auction raised more than $8,000. Due to the event taking place during the holiday season, Santa happily posed for pictures, and even Elvis, impersonated by Corey Klein, appeared at the bash, chaired by Donna and Jon Van Hoozer. The light-hearted atmosphere continued throughout the venue with patrons checking out a doughnut bar, brimming with irresistible doughnut holes given by Krispy Kreme, and savoring sweet potato pecan and pumpkin ginger cheesecake bites made by trainees of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis Technical Training Center. Wade & Co. provided heavy appetizers, with Budweiser and Athens Distributing Company supplying libations and The Corkscrew offering a complimentary Scotch and bourbon tasting station. Also on the agenda was lots of musical entertainment that was contributed by a pianist and violinist from the Visible Music College and by the Soul Shockers. At night’s end, patrons had proven that this truly was the season of giving, as Toy Bash netted more than $56,000.

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Kevin and Betty Grothe

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Baxter Buck

Mindy Miller and Greg Wilson

Donna and Jon Van Hoozer

Jill and Nick McCabe

Will and Bridgett Routt

Jim Derych with Dee and George Moore

Stephen White and Cynthia Talley

EVENT TOY BASH Debbie Short and Jim Moton

Shereva Vaughn, DeMarcus Stewart and Dartha Morris

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Shelby and Vinny Borello



Lisa and Robert Lyons with Bert Lyons and Lisa Rausch

Hannah Morgan, Anne Ragsdale and Page Carter


Onsite II Cotton Museum Harvest Party One of Memphis’ best-kept secrets is The Cotton Museum’s annual fund-raising Harvest Party, and, once again, Earnestine & Hazel’s was packed to the rafters with museum supporters. The Earnestine and Hazel’s house band had partygoers on their feet from the beginning of its first set, which finished with a rousing singalong of “In Them Old Cotton Fields,” and just as much of a treat was the elegant and tasty cocktail buffet featuring the bar’s famous Soul Burgers. There were deals to be had as a live auction held at intermission had guests intent on bidding for some prized items, like “A Night Out in the Bluff City” (dinner for two at Itta Bena, premium tickets to “Million Dollar Quartet” at The Orpheum, a night at the River Inn with a full gourmet breakfast for two at Paulette’s); a Kona bicycle from Victory Bicycle Studio; a vacation to the Delta (dinner for two at Giardina’s Restaurant in Greenwood, a night at The Alluvian Hotel complete with a day at the Alluvian Spa); and golf lessons from Drew Simmons at Chickasaw Country Club. Organizers were pleased with both the turnout and the auction proceeds from the fifth Harvest Party. Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Roy Haithcock

Willy Bearden and Robert Nighthawk

Garner Simpson and Hunter Hataway

MCA Holiday Bazaar

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Savvy early shoppers and holiday merrymakers mobbed Ted Rust Hall for the annual Memphis College of Art Holiday Bazaar. Now a 62-year tradition, this bonanza of one-of-akind arts and crafts ushers in the season of celebrating with something for everyone: ceramics, paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, handmade paper and more, all created by students, alumni or faculty of MCA. Textile handbags in bold prints and interesting shapes by Samilia Mary Colar drew attention, as did Marian Lea McKinney’s jewelry, made from re-purposed silver serving trays. Folks saw friends old and new and left crowing over their fantastic buys.



Phil Bateman and James White

Marian McKinney and Murray Riss

Anna Irace and Alex Paulus

Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

SPAYtacular It may have been raining cats and dogs outside, but foul weather couldn’t dampen SPAYtacular 2011, which packed the Parkview’s Azalea Room with more than 150 pet lovers. Now in its fifth run, SPAYtacular tackles the problem of pet overpopulation by funding a dedicated low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Supporters of the cause sipped wine while socializing over a scrumptious spread that included several vegetarian options, as well as some adorable paw and dog bone-shaped cookies handmade by volunteer Courtney Richardson. The enormous silent auction offered goodies for pets, like gift baskets from Hollywood Feed and Three Dog Bakery, and goodies for pet owners, such as several bottles of Three Cats Moselland riesling and Fat Cat chardonnay and animal-themed art by favorites like Angi Cooper and George Rodrigue. Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Julie Houston, Courtney Richardson and Kembree Brown

Suzi Lonergan and Jackie Shawkey

Winter Reynolds and Barbara Standing

Memphis Art Collective Holiday Artist Market and Silent Auction

Virginia and Connie Cupples

Chuck Parr and Dinah Makowsky

Misti White, Sarah Stramel and Su Hartline

The Memphis Art Collective put on a festive Holiday Artist Market and Silent Auction featuring original art and handmade crafts by local artists and artisans. In addition to food, wine and a silent auction to benefit Mewtopia Cat Rescue, the market featured guitar music by Paul Taylor. The auction included gift items donated by members of the Memphis Art Collective and others, and it ensured that shoppers playing Santa Claus were also able to support their friends with paws. Aromatic, natural soaps from Buckeye Hollow drew a crowd, as did the millinery of Dinah Makowsky and whimsical aprons by Carolyn Olivia Dodson-King. Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Dianne and Harold Cox

Lance Draper with Lafayette and Charlene Draper

Memphis Symphony League’s “Magical Holiday Party” There was indeed magic in the air at the Memphis Symphony League’s “Magical Holiday Party, benefiting the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s “Music in the Schools” program. The party, held in the Crescent Center lobby, featured a cocktail buffet and music by the a cappella group Beg to Differ of Memphis University School. A small silent auction featured one-of-a-kind items, including a stunning strapless evening gown once worn by Marguerite Piazza, the honoree. MSO conductor Mei-Ann Chen and Stilian Kirov, assistant conductor, were among the guests paying tribute to Piazza. Lura Turner, socialite and songbird, entertained the group with an aria from “La Bohème,” followed by “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man,” in which Piazza once starred on Broadway. Story and Photo by Suzanne Thompson

A large crowd filled the Clark Opera Memphis Center to honor the accomplishments of young minority leaders in the community. A sold-out event, the Agents of Change Awards was started in 2010 as a means to acknowledge the great contributions these young men and women have made and to ensure they receive continued support from the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals. Some of the 10 different categories included Committed Doer, Schooling Our Future, Innovator of the Year and Living Legend. A buffet was served, and following closing remarks by MULYP president Lori Spicer, partygoers enjoyed the Jingle Mingle Mixer. Story and Photos by Suzanne Thompson

Ethan Touch and Megan Arnold

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About 800 people gathered at The Peabody for the 15th annual Memphis Benefit Dinner for Facing History and Ourselves. The dinner began with a lettuce wedge served with bleu cheese dressing, followed by an entree of salmon and beef tenderloin slices with demiglace, potatoes and asparagus. Coffee and a choice of chocolate mousse or banana chocolate chip cheesecake finished off the meal. Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore, spoke afterward about his book, which details the life of another young man from his Baltimore neighborhood with the same name, who made poor choices and is serving a life sentence in prison, and the special relationship the two developed. Facing History and Ourselves teaches young people about historical social events and ways in which valuable lessons can be learned from mistakes made in the past.

MULYP Agents of Change Awards

Tarrin McGhee, Kati Thomas, Joy Turner and Chandra Towler

River Oaks Garden Club Christmas Party

Leadership Memphis Holiday Party

River Oaks Garden Club members placed unwrapped gifts into a huge sleigh when they arrived at the club’s annual Christmas Party, held at the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club. On each seat hung a Santa hat, which set the festive mood for the event, and chocolates were strewn at each place setting. After enjoying a festive grog, members were seated at tables adorned with large Santa figures encircled by wreaths made of fresh fir and enjoyed a lunch of chicken breast with mushroom sauce, rice pilaf and tomato stuffed with a spinach cheese medley. During lunch, Ginger Statom sang traditional Christmas tunes as her husband, Gabriel, accompanied her on the piano. A dessert of rich peppermint ice cream pie came next, and to conclude the event, two Marines came in to thank the club for its participation in the Toys for Tots program, and to load up the many gifts.

The 2011 Leadership Memphis Holiday Party, presented by Tactical Magic, was well attended with more than 500 alumni coming out to the Pink Palace Museum. Due to it being the season of giving, Leadership Memphis teamed up with the Mid-South Food Bank for a food drive with a goal of 500 cans, however alumni attendees exceeded that expectation by donating nearly 1,000 cans. Story Submitted Photos by Don Perry

Story and Photo by Suzanne Thompson

Billie Jean Graham, Marguerite Piazza and Shirley Condon

Janice Akins, Ginger and Gabriel Statom and Elma Schnapp

Kaci Murley and Jared Bulluck

Jerry Redmond and Chooch Pickard


Facing History and Ourselves Memphis Benefit Dinner


Onsite III


By Dennis Phillippi


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ome column ideas come from studies or polls I’ve seen in magazines. Some column ideas come from friends and some from total strangers. This column came from the much more common source: a conversation in a bar. My wife and I were having a few drinks with some friends, and I was giving her the business because she often records things on our DVR, but she never, ever watches them. Usually, it’s something that she was watching and honestly believed she would like to see how it turned out, but by the time she would get around to watching it, she has long since lost interest in how a rerun of “Bones” wrapped up. I pointed this out, and she said, “Well, I’m not the one who recorded the entire last season of ‘Smallville.’” A low blow, but fair. After all, I did record the entire last season of “Smallville,” but I plan to someday watch it. You know, when I have some free time. This led to a spirited round of “What junk do you have saved on your DVR?” My friend Eric started the ball rolling by admitting that he has 15 hours, 15, of “Judge Judy.” His rationale for this is that when he, like everyone else except Judge Judy, was unemployed a year ago, he got addicted to the show and hopes to carve out some time to catch up. Another person volunteered that she has filled hers completely with cooking shows, despite the fact that she eats out every single meal. For the fun of it, and because I’d had a few drinks, I later posted on the Facebook asking people what they have on their DVR. Great Googly Moogly did people react. Several people claimed to not know what exactly a DVR is, and others claimed they don’t know how to work theirs. I don’t buy it for a second. The DVR is one of the greatest pieces of technological advancement in our lifetime, like the electric towel warmer or the camera phones that make it possible for us to see celebrities walking their dogs. My DVR, recently cleared, still has more than 60 delicious selections just waiting for the

right moment. One person claimed they have CSpan coverage of Kim Kardashian coverage. I hope he was joking because the combination of C-Span and Kardashians makes for the single dullest programming imaginable. People admitted surprising things, especially considering that their name and photo was right beside their admissions. A radio friend of mine admitted to being addicted to that “Deadliest Catch” deal, and another said that he had Australian editions of “Fear Factor.” These are shows I wouldn’t watch if I was somehow on them. One woman admitted to watching “Toddlers and Tiaras,” whatever that is. If the name is accurate, it sounds like a

I hope he was joking because the combination of C-Span and Kardashians makes for the single dullest programming imaginable. show that would be a good argument for repealing the First Amendment. It’s bad enough that people are legally allowed to enter their freakish little robot in beauty pageants, but making a TV show rewards that behavior. Bad TV executives. Several guys I know said that they have sporting events recorded, and not one of them had ever watched any of them. You know why? They’re sporting events. You don’t watch sports recorded, that’s what SportsCenter is for. My favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, won the Super Bowl, and I wouldn’t care anything about watching it recorded. Our DVR at home has, as mentioned, “Smallville,” as well as various talk shows Janet recorded because we were heading out the door and she really thought she was going to come home and play a dated interview with a celebrity she cares little about. There are several movies I recorded because I thought that maybe some famous woman in them might take

off her top, but I haven’t had the energy or patience to fast forward through the other junk yet. There are movies that we didn’t have enough interest to see in the theater, or watch when they were run on a pay cable channel when they were run, but we believe we might at some point be bored enough to watch. The perfect example of that is the fourth Indiana Jones movie. It’s been on there forever, but neither of us has watched it. We should just erase it, but that feels somehow disloyal to old Indy. There are no network shows about hospitals or soap opery things where people betray or feel betrayed or any of that junk. I like “Bones,” and my wife likes “The Mentalist,” for completely different reasons I suspect, and there are lots of episodes of both, almost none of which will ever get watched. We have several hundred television channels, the Internet and, oh yeah, our lives to watch. I realize this is unique to my line of work, but our DVR also has a dozen or more appearances by me on TV. I record them because generally when I’m on the TV my wife is doing something other than watching, like for instance, her job. The DVR gets set to record them so she can watch them later. Only, of course, she never does. It doesn’t hurt my feelings; she has to watch me all the time as it is. I don’t watch them because I already know how weird I look. So, really the only jobs the DVR ever does is record and erase. Every once in a while, I clean stuff off of it because not watching this show or that show is actually starting to make me feel guilty. I know how stupid that sounds, but it’s true. Sad old episodes of shows that know they’re never going to be watched just sitting there waiting as I scroll past them. I have to put them out of their misery. Say what you will though, it’s not 15 hours of “Judge Judy.”

Dennis, if we ever get tired of watching our lives unfold on the social scene, we think you should definitely invite us over to watch the shows you’ve recorded of yourself. Then, your DVR’s new job will include rewind because we know we’d want to laugh at your appearances over and over again. Shhh…consider it a compliment.

Woman’s Exchange Christmas Gala

Missy Rainer, Shali Atkinson and Diana Kelly

(Seated) Valerie Morris, Linda McNeil and Susan Schadt; (Standing) Duncan Williams, Shannon Brown, Michael Arndt, James McGehee and R. Scott Barber

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Chuck and Scottie Cobb with Woods and Nancy Weathersby

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Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

The Woman’s Exchange Tea Room stayed open for dinner last December being that it was the organization’s annual Christmas Gala. For the occasion, Chef “Rev” Bailey always prepares his specialties, and this time was no different, with him creating dinners of beef tenderloin, Rev’s special potatoes, salad, homemade rolls and crème brulee. Anne Piper-White chaired the gala, and some members helping serve included Ginger Chapman, Barbara Hanemann, Nancy Masterson and Susie Richmond, who smiled, “I have helped serve before at the gala—I enjoy it.”

65 Anne Piper-White and Carroll White

Salvation Army Christmas Luncheon

Duration Fine Arts Club Christmas Luncheon

Four Seasons/Memory Inc. Christmas Party

It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon, aptly themed “The Sights and Sounds of Christmas.” Members began the afternoon at the University Club by eyeing exquisite cakes in a gourmet cake auction that featured flavors from the ultimate coconut cake, which weighed 12 pounds at six layers, to Daddy’s nut and raisin cake. As lunch transpired, Briarcrest Christian School’s chamber choir, OneVoice, sang carols, and bringing even more cheer was the auxiliary’s $9,000 donation ($3,000 was given by an anonymous donor at the door) to Major Rhea Dawn Woodcock to continue the Salvation Army’s invaluable services.

Phyllis Pollard, Dee Davenport and Ruthie McCallen teamed up as co-chairs to bring Duration Fine Arts Club members a memorable Christmas Luncheon at Chickasaw Country Club. Every table glistened with striking centerpieces of glittery green reindeer surrounded by snow and mini ornaments, and each was offered for sale as a fund-raiser. After guests dined, women’s a cappella group Take Note, accompanied by Mary Lawrence Flinn on keys, performed cheerful holiday songs, and attendees were also informed that the club had given a donation to the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

Denise and Ben Wheeler opened their residence, the historic Beverly Hall, up for the benefit of Four Seasons/Memory Inc., an organization helping those fighting Alzheimer’s. The affair served as the group’s Christmas Party, complete with carol singing, stocking stuffers for sale and a lunch by Party Tenders. Club president Mary Jane Criss used the opportunity to distribute $16,000 among representatives of several notable charities: Jean Skorupa-MooreAlzheimer’s Day Services; Martha Boyd and John Webb-Trezevant Manor; Ann LangstonChurch Health Center; and Herbie KrislePage Robbins Adult Day Care Center.

Story and Photo by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photo by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photo by Leah Fitzpatrick

Sherrye Willis, Debbie Bryan and Tommie Pardue

Phyllis Pollard, Dee Davenport and Ruthie McCallen

Betty Hays, Denise Wheeler and Mary Jane Criss


National Philanthropy Day Crystal Awards Luncheon The Association of Fundraising Professionals Memphis Chapter hosted the National Philanthropy Day Crystal Awards Luncheon to coincide with National Philanthropy Day’s 25th anniversary. Past Crystal Award recipient Joe Birch of WMC-TV 5 emceed the event at the U of M Holiday Inn and was told by Outstanding Volunteer Fund-raiser Shannon Brown of FedEx, “Now, I can say I belong to the same esteemed club as you!” Other recipients were Emergency Mobile Health Care-Spirit of Philanthropy; Duncan-Williams Investment Bankers-Outstanding Corporation; Caesars Entertainment-Partners in Philanthropy; Susan Schadt of Arts MemphisOutstanding Executive Leader; Linda McNeil of BRIDGESOutstanding Fund-raising Executive; and James McGeheeOutstanding Philanthropist.


Onsite IV


Holy Child Kindergarten

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his happy group of 4 and 5 year olds were students at Holy Child Kindergarten, which was located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Melrose Street. Founded in 1945 by the Dominican Sisters of Nashville, the kindergarten operated at a capacity enrollment until it closed in 1979. Those pictured above are the following: (First Row-left to right) Michael Stanford, Bubba Cash, Michael Billmeier, Mark Williams, Ray Vunk, Russell Siegfried, Shawn Herrington, Shawn Moonen, Robert Bell and Christopher White; (Second Row) Corles Healey, Elizabeth Holland, Margaret Aswad, Mary Catherine Smith, Julie Jefferson, Debra Smith, Rhonda Wise, Margaret Wilkinson, Samantha Thomassen and Lenore Warr; (Third Row) Virginia Collins, Kelly Gallagher, David Peel, Lisa Brown, Terry Tyner, Jeff Wills, William Johnson, Christopher Speltz, Darrell Milan, Mary Alice Welsh and Amy Palvado; (Fourth Row) Sister Mary Damian, OP, Gena Maglio, Karen Prince, Shawn McKinney, Laura Gansewski, Lesley Orr, Chandra Humphrey, Becky Stratton, Glen Stewart and Sister Marie Louise, OP. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAWN MCKINNEY SWETMON SPECIAL THANKS TO MARYBETH BOLTON AND GRAHAM WARR If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Leah Fitzpatrick at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to All photos will be returned promptly.

RSVP Magazine February 2012  

RSVP magazine is like no other publication in the city of Memphis. What began as simply “The Society Pages” more than a decade ago has evolv...

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